“I could eat,” I admitted hesitantly, “and I’d kill for some tea.”

Tea. The elixir of life. A ritual of peace. A celebration of quiet. Gentle fuel to get you through the next push of work. It’s many things to me, and to Diana, too.

I couldn’t imagine life without tea (or toast…). When I was writing Diana–especially spellbound Diana–I put lots of little rituals and routines in her day to ground her and to help her keep her interior chaos at bay. Tea, rowing, getting ready for work, her lists, these are all part of a bigger pattern of control that Diana has to exercise every day because she is trying to shut out what is REALLY happening within her. It didn’t seem as though coffee would really fulfill the same role in a reluctant witch’s life.

I drink tea for more pragmatic reasons. I love the taste. I love the smell. And yes, I do love the ritual.

Some have asked about Diana’s teas. Like me, she will drink anything! But here are some of her favorites:

PG tips with milk and sugar: what they call in England “builder’s tea,” Diana likes this hearty tea with milk and sugar when she needs to get her energy up. Even in the US, in some larger grocery stores, you can find this tea.

Thé Des Impressionistes by Mariage Frères: this is Diana’s favorite tea, a green tea and flowers blend. No milk or sugar goes in this one–the delicate scent and flavor is what she’s after here. Her evening cuppa. For more information: http://www.mariagefreres.com/…/2-the-des-impressionnistes-c…. Available throughout Europe in Mariages Freres stores, or in the US through Market Hall Foods.

Organic India USA Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea: this is Diana’s secret weapon, her “wind down” tea, the one that helps her unplug and sleep. It contains no caffeine, just a blend of holy basil, rose, and chamomile with a touch of Stevia for sugar-free sweetness. No milk or sugar in this one, either! For more information: http://organicindiausa.com/organic-india-tulsi-sweet-rose-…/

Photograph of an early morning cup of tea in my London hotel, taken last year on paperback tour for The Book of Life.